Engineering Associates Degrees

Can I work while studying for my associates degree in engineering?

You will likely be able to work and have the time to do so when you pursue your associates in engineering. Colleges that offer an associate degree in engineering should not have a policy against working while you pursue your degree.

A good strategy is to find companies that will offer advancement opportunities in the future as you continue your education. If you are pursuing your associates, look for work in the field of engineering that you are most interested in. For example, if you want to eventually pursue a degree in civil engineering, you should look for a position with a construction company or architectural design firm.

Associates degrees in engineering often lead to positions like an engineering technician, drafter or production manager. You may be able to find a job as an assistant to 1 of these professions to gain experience if you do not plan to study engineering beyond the associate degree level.

One reason to consider not working is that some online programs allow you to complete classes at quick pace, which can save you money. If you complete your classes quickly at the Cleveland Institute of Technology, you can save thousands of dollars since tuition is based on terms of 24 weeks.

If you are working on an online associates degree in engineering, you will probably have more flexibility with your schedule than students at brick-and-mortar schools. However, you should be careful not to let your commitment to work affect your grades.

What are common assumptions about students who choose to get an associates degree in engineering?

One major stereotype about students who get an associates in engineering is that their degree will not do them any good. Students can only receive an associates in a specific field of pre-engineering, like engineering science or technology. The argument against this degree is that it will not allow you to be an engineer out of school. While this is true, an associates degree will qualify you to become an engineering technician and enter the workforce. At that point, you can always go back to get your bachelors after earning an income and gaining valuable experience.

Another assumption is that prospective employers may assume an associate degree program provides you with a narrower knowledge base than that of a bachelors program. This assumption may be correct, but you will gain additional opportunities to learn from experience and prepare yourself for a specific career in engineering.

More biases exist about associates degrees, including the stereotype that those who opt for a 2 year degree did not have adequate grades or are not smart enough to enroll in a 4 year program. That can be true in some cases, but often times, other circumstances like money, time or family commitments are the real reasons students choose an associates degree in engineering online or from a traditional school. However, it is true that an associates in engineering offers less upward mobility in the workplace than a bachelors or masters degree.

What is the hardest part of the application to an on-campus or online engineering associates program?

The most difficult and time-consuming process of the application is writing a personal statement or essay. It requires the most time and thought because it is the piece of the application that sets you apart from the competition.

Even for your associates degree, an engineering college will likely require you to submit letters of recommendation, which may be difficult as you have to get in touch with teachers or past colleagues to have them write a letter for you. You may have a harder time with this than writing a personal essay because you have to depend on others.

The easiest part of any application for an online engineering associates degree will be supplying your basic personal information. This can often be done online or with printable online forms. You will also have to send a hard copy or digital copy of your high school diploma or GED equivalent, transcripts and possibly your SAT or ACT scores.

You will have to confirm that you meet the prerequisites in math or writing and may have to take an exam or complete qualifying classes. Students applying to online engineering programs may have to demonstrate that they have the necessary computer skills and hardware to fully use the online resources.

Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online engineering associates degree program?

Very few 4 year-colleges offer an associate in engineering or related field. If you want to find an online engineering associates degree, you should search community colleges or for profit schools like University of Phoenix and Westwood College.

SUNY Orange is a 2-year college that offers an Associate in Science (AS) in Engineering Science. It participates in the SUNY Learning Network (SLN) with schools like Jamestown Community College, which also offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in computer information systems.

If you know your engineering associate degree is a stepping stone toward larger goals like transferring to traditional college and working toward something specific, like an aerospace engineering degree, take a look at Bellevue College. It is 1 of the few 4-year schools that offers online associates degrees. They participate in the Intercollege Relations Commission transfer agreement, which ensures you will get credit for the general education requirements for several schools that offer bachelors degree programs.

Two privately owned schools, University of Phoenix and Westwood College offer online and hybrid associates degrees in information technology, which is similar to computer engineering. Both schools have brick-and-mortar campuses in several states and are accredited by state or national organizations.